this being a tale of serendipity and liquid enchantment: the velvet slipper cocktail

velvet slipper cocktail
It sounds like such a small thing but I am feeling a little serendipitous; ("serendipity" is one of my favourite words, if you're interested and my only claim to fame is that I got it mentioned as "The Word of the Day" on the Words for Life website).

So why serendipity? Well a few days ago, I had restored an old CD full of ancient files I haven't looked at in years, because I had thought that the CD was damaged beyond repair. On it I rediscovered this fabulous cocktail, the recipe for which I had also assumed lost for good.

Now, it's not that it is hard to make. It's not that there aren't 100s of very similar cocktails out there. It is just that this one has some very happy associations as well as delightful tastebud-tingling memories.

So I present to you the Velvet Slipper . . . it is soft and luxurious cocktail with a jewel-like colour and a decadent finish!

I discovered this cocktail on a weary Sunday afternoon having battled with a shocking cold for a few days. (Fortunately I’m not a bloke, so it wasn’t life-threatening).

I’m not a great fan of fruit but this is a particularly delicious way of getting my "Five A Day" . . . with copious amounts of vodka - a sort of alchoholic fruit smoothie! 

Do not be fooled by the deceptively gentle name. There is nothing fairy tale about this drink at all, though it should have a happy ending.

Makes about a litre
Skill level: Easy


220g caster sugar (or vanilla caster sugar)
1 mug of water
200g blackberries (also works well with a bag of frozen summer or autumn fruits)
150g raspberries
juice of 1 lemon
360ml vodka (vanilla vodka if possible)
20ml Cointreau or brandy (optional)


  1. Put water and sugar in a heavy based saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add most of the berries into the sugar water and heat through. Crush the berries (using either a wooden spoon or a potato masher, giving a rough texture).
  3. Set aside the mixture to cool.
  4. Blend the mixture until a smooth liquid, then sieve to get rid of the fruit seeds. (A friend assures me that the fruity pips are yummy on toast . . . I suppose it depends on how much you like picking the damn things out of your teeth!)
  5. Add the vodka, lemon juice and Cointreau or brandy if using to the fruit mixture and chill.
  6. To serve: fill highball or other tall glasses with crushed ice and top with the vodka berry mixture. 

  • Replace the vodka with rum and the lemon with lime juice.

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